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Program for Masters Degree in Pharmacology or Physiology

The Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology program also accepts students seeking a Master’s Degree in Pharmacology or Physiology. Ph.D. students who successfully pass their qualifying examination and have completed their coursework will be awarded a Master’s Degree. Master’s students can complete either a Plan A (research focus) or Plan B (academic focus) master’s program. Plan A students may, at their discretion, identify a Master’s thesis advisor prior to entry into the program, or complete 2-3 research rotations prior to selecting a laboratory in which to complete their thesis. However, a thesis advisor must be identified and approved prior to the second year of study. Plan B students must, at the end of their first year of study, identify an advisor for their Master’s Essay, typically a faculty member with expertise in the field.

General Requirements

Both Plan A and Plan B students must complete the following:

  • All “required courses” as outlined for the Ph.D. program in Section A, including four credits of seminar (PHP 502).
  • Complete 6 additional credit hours of elective course credit from the list outlined for the Ph.D. program in Section A.
  • A minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit.

In addition, Plan A students must

  • Prepare a dissertation based in part on original material that displays thorough acquaintance with a limited subject.
  • Successfully complete a final oral examination that focuses on the thesis defense, but may include examination of general competency in pharmacology or physiology. Students preparing for this examination should review the description of the qualifying examination for Ph.D. candidates, as their exam will be similar in format, if not in scope.

In addition, Plan B students must:

  • Complete a Master's Essay that presents a critical review of a topic of current pharmacologic or physiologic relevance. Maximum length of 10 pages excluding references. The Master’s Essay should similar in scope and organization to a review article published in any peer-reviewed journal, including in-depth analysis and critical evaluation of the current literature in the field.
  • Successfully complete a comprehensive oral examination in pharmacology and physiology.